All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 20-06-2004, 10:01 AM
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Ewan Ewan is offline
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Article I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

Or, to put the apocalypse in another slightly less quotable form, your phone is about to be infected by the biggest Computer Virus outbreak since the last one.

Pardon me for being cynical, but the first virus to be 'discovered' has been programmed in a laboratory as a 'concept virus' to porive it can be done. Now how would benefit from proving a virus can infect a mobile phone? Not the true virus writres. They'd get the kudos once it went live - they'd have no benefit in advertising before hand. You don't call up the enemy before you send in a Stealth Fighter, you want till the package is delivered. Same with the und3rg0nd.

Who does benefit, clearly, is the anti-virus vendors who will now rush out applications and 'custom packages' to prevent you loosing everything in your phone.

Now wait a minute. As Jim points out on Mobitopia, how can something that asks...

* Receive message from Nokia 3650? Yes/No
* Installation security warning. Unable to verify supplier. Continue
anyway? Yes/No * Install Cabir? Yes/No

...be a virus? That's a trojan program - just say "no I don't want to install this because I have no idea what it is or where it comes from." Problem solved. After all, if the Ebola Virus came up to you and asked "would you like to be infected" would you say yes? Then why do it with your phone> That's not succuming to a virus, that's people not using their common sense.

The biggest benefit to Computer Viruses are badly programmed platforms - friends dont let friends use IE and Outlook Express unless they are aware of the dangers. Macs and Linux are as safe as Symbian - and I'm sure the A/V Vendors will have concept trojans/virii for these platforms as well.

Symbian OS is very robust - the only current exploit there is revolves around the Nokia Bluetooth stack, and even then you need some heavy crunching via a PC, and at best you can get to the Phones Address Book, or send a few AT Commands - there's no direct access to the Memory or Drives. It's also a loophole that I'd exect to be closed in the next release of the Series 60 UI.

Common sense stops most virii on the majority of platforms. Let's employ some over Symbian OS shall we?
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